Tesla's (TSLA) annual shareholder meeting did not turn into a bitter battle between the board and disgruntled institutional investors. After shareholders voted against proposals to hold board elections every year, the company’s relieved-looking CEO Elon Musk went on to discuss what the future has in store for the electric auto manufacturer. (See also: Tesla and GM to Face Shareholders Today.)
Here are some of the most interesting developments that came to light.
Limited Model 3
Musk confirmed that the first Model 3 vehicles, Tesla’s first mass-market electric cars, will be launched at the end of next month. However, there is a caveat. Customers will be given a very limited set of options to choose from, such as color and wheel type, as the company seeks to to avoid a repeat of previous production issues.
"I should say that we’ve kept the initial configurations of the Model 3 very simple,” Musk said. “A big mistake we made with the [Model] X, which is primarily my responsibility — there was way too much complexity right at the beginning. That was very foolish.” (See also: Tesla Model 3 Expectations Are 'Hitting The Moon')
New SUVs and Trucks
Musk also revealed that the Model Y, Tesla’s electric compact SUV, and the Tesla Semi, the company’s all-electric heavy truck, aren’t far away from gracing the nation's roads. The Model Y, which is expected to offer simpler internal electric systems than previous models, will be available by 2019. Contrary to speculation, Musk confirmed that the SUV won’t be built on the Model 3’s platform to save money. The company also gave us our first look at Model Y.
Meanwhile, Tesla plans to unveil the Semi this September. Several major freight companies have been consulted to help assist with its design.
Expanding Supercharger Network
Tesla’s goal to fill the nation’s roads with electric cars has also made it think some more about infrastructure. To appease long-distance drivers, the company aims to vastly expand its network of fast-charging stations, doubling them by the end of 2017, before adding a further 50 percent in 2018.
Autonomous Technology Better
Taking a nap while your car drives itself from California to New York might not be a farfetched dream after all. After dumping Mobileye’s sensors and algorithms, following an argument over who was to blame for the death of a driver using the autopilot system, Tesla is now set to roll out a new version of its autonomous program that it claims is better than the one released before the parting with Mobileye. A software update due next month is expected to solve many of the problems that customers complained about.
Tesla plans to add to its existing gigafactory in the Nevada desert by building three more. One of them will be for the Model Y, although Musk declined to name locations or provide any further specific information.